The stars in the South are gold
Like lamps between sky and sea;
The flowers that the forests hold
Like stars between tree and tree;
But little and white
Is the pale moon’s light
That lights my love to me.
In the South the orange grove
Makes dusk by the dusky sea,
White palaces wrought for love
Gleam white between tree and tree,
But under bare boughs
Is the little house
Warm-lit for my love and me.
If Love and I were all alone
I might forget to grieve,
And for his pleasure and my own
Might happier garlands weave;
But you sit there, and watch us wear
The mourning wreaths you wove:
And while such mocking eyes you bear
I am not friends with Love.
Withdraw those cruel eyes, and let
Me search the garden through
That I may weave, ere Love be set,
The wreath of Love for you;
Till you, whom Love so well adorns,
Its hidden thorns discover,
And know at last what crown of thorns
It was you gave your lover.
Good-night, my Heart, my Heart, good-night—
Oh, good and dear and fair,
With lips of life and eyes of light
And roses in your hair.
To-morrow brings the other crown,
The orange blossoms, Sweet,
And then the rose will be cast down
With lilies at your feet.
But in your soul a garden stands
Where fair the white rose blows—
God, teach my foolish clumsy hands
The way to tend my rose.
That in the white-rose garden still
The lily may bloom fair
God help my heart and soul and will
To keep the lily there.
Love and life.
Love only sings when Love is young,
When Love is young and still at play,
How shall we count the sweet songs sung
When Love and Joy kept holiday?
But now Love has to earn his bread
By lifelong stress and toil of tears,
He finds his nest of song-birds dead
That sang so sweet in other years.
For Love’s a man now, strong and brave,
To fight for you, for you to live,
And Love, that once such bright songs gave,
Has better things than songs to give;
He gives you now a lifelong faith,
A hand to help in joy or pain,
And he will sing no more, till Death
Shall come to make him young again!
From the Italian.
As a little child whom his mother has chidden,
Wrecked in the dark in a storm of weeping,
Sleeps with his tear-stained eyes closed hidden
And, with fists clenched, sobs still in his sleeping,
So in my breast sleeps Love, O white lady,
What does he care though the rest are playing,
With rattles and drums in the woodlands shady,
Happy children, whom Joy takes maying!
Ah, do not wake him, lest you should hear him
Scolding the others, breaking their rattles,
Smashing their drums, when their play comes near him—
Love who, for me, is a god of battles!